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University of Toronto St. George
B Ewald

Roman ImperialArches The Triumph - The triumphal procession would gather in the southern field of Mars, the cross the pomerium, encircle the Palatine hill, cross the Forum Romanum and climb up to the Capitoline hill - The procession would include the display of war booty, captives, signs with the names of conquered cities, etc - It would end at the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus with a sacrifice of bulls in a hecatomb, done by the triumphant general - This was an important ritual procession in the republic an imperil periods - In the Republic period the triumph was granted to victorious generals; while in the Imperial period it was only members of the Imperial family who could celebrate a triumph - Triumphator dressed in the guise of Jupiter, and may have been painted (partially or fully) red as the statue of Jupiter in the temple - Essentially the Triumphator became a god for a day, or for however long his triumph was granted - In the Republican period a slave would ride along with the triumphator, whispering in his ear “remember you are mortal” Arches - All three extant triumphal arches are located on the route of the Roman triumph - The main function of a triumphal arch is that of a monumental statue base - The arches were usually surmounted by bronze statues of the victorious emperor in his quadriga - None of these have been preserved; we know of their existence from coins - The arch is a Roman architectural form - In antiquity there would have been other arches, not all on the route of the triumph - TheArch of Titus - Located on the Veila, dates to 1 centuryAD - The dedicatory inscription on the arch notes that it was built by the SPQR for the deified emperor Titus, which indicates the arch was erected after Titus’death inAD 81 - So the arch was a funerary monument as much as it was a triumphal monument, celebrating the triumph of Vespasian and his son Titus after the capture of Jerusalem in AD 71 (when Vespasian was still emperor) - The original bronze letter of the inscription is now missing - The friezes of the arch have a mythical agenda, and depict the triumphal procession: - Herein are recognizable the sacrificial animals and attendants - The signs with the names of the defeated peoples and cities - Areclining personification of the river Jordan to evidence how far the Roman had gone - Booty from the Jewish temple being carried in the triumph, passing through the “Porta triumphalis” (or another arch) - The emperor Titus in his quadriga with an eagle scepter in his left had, being lef by a personification of his virtue (virtus) who stands for his military victories. In the background are lictors, carrying fasces. The emperor is crowned by a personification of victory - The combination of figures from reality with abstract personifications and allegorical figures is typical of this kind of “historical relief” - On the vaulted ceiling of the archway the frieze depicts the “apotheosis” or “consecratio” (deification) of the Emperor Titus - Titus is pictured riding towards heaven on an eagle - The eagle was the attribute animal of Jupiter - And an eagle was released as part of the consecration ritual - In the MiddleAges it was incorporated into a fortress of the Frangipani family; its modern appearance is the result of a 19 century restoration - Arch of Sepitimius Severus rd - Located on the Forum Romanum, dates to early 3 century - Awarded to the emperor Septimius Severus (who reigned from late 2 to early 3 rd centuryAD) and his sons Caracalla and Geta in 203AD - It celebrated earlier victories during the late 2 centuryAD against theArabs and Parthians (tribes in the areas of modern Iran and Iraq), and the addition of “Mesopotamia” as a province to the empire in 199AD - The dedicatory inscription was changed after Carcalla had killed his brother and co- emperor Geta in 212 in an act of damnatio memoriae - Imagery celebrates the victory of the emperor - Consists of a siege of a city (Edessa?), and shows highly technical machinery used to demolish city walls; The submission of Barbarian peoples and the surrender of their king,Abgar - Roman soldiers with Parthian prisoners are depicted on the pedestals of the columns. These captives would have been displayed in the triumphal procession - Mars with tropaion is on the cornerstone of the central archway - Victory with tropaion and personification of seasons are on the central archway - Afrieze of a triumphal procession decorates the space above the lateral archways - The seated Roma is depicted as the focal point in the small frieze of a triumphal procession - Other friezes include: the depiction of a war council in a fortified camp, and the departure to a new campaign (profectio) and the emperor delivering a speech - The arch is made of Travertine and Proconnesian marble - At one point the arch supported a quadriga with Septimius Severus and his sons, as well as other statues - This is known from coins - In medieval times it was transformed into a fortress - Arch of Constantine - Located in the “Colosseum Valley,” on the route of the triumph before the triumphal road ascends to the upper Via Sacra - Built inAD 312-315 and dedicated on the event of Constantine’s decennalia, and of Constantine’s victory over his former co-emperor Maxentius in 312AD at the battle of the Milvian Bridge - The arch does not celebrate a victory over foreign enemies (as had been the case with other triumphal arches), but rather a victory in a civil war - The arch does not contain any Christian imagery, likely due to the fact that it was the Senate that built it in honor of him - Despite the lack of Christian imagery, Constantine promoted Christianity and was himself baptized on his deathbed - Asubstantial part of the arch is made from spolia: nd - These are architectural elements and relief sculptures taken from older (2 cent AD) monuments - This use of spolia is the main characteristic of theArch of Constantine - Re-used reliefs from the Great Trajanic Frieze, Hadrianic Roundels, and reliefs from MarcusAurelius - The Trajanic friezes show Trajan battling barbarians (Dacians), and the ‘adventus’(Arrival) of Trajan in Rome - The Hadrianic roundels depict hunts and sacrifices to appropriate deities - TheAurelian relief shows the distribution of largesse (demonstrating imperial liberalitas). Imperial Places on the Palatine Hill - The building of a dynastic palace incorporating older structures was initiated under Domitian and the architect Rabirius in 81AD, and finished 11 years later in 92AD - The palatine hill was advantageous living because of - Relative proximity to the forum, the centre of political life - Augustus’residence near Romulus’hut (imperialistic propaganda) - And the site was deeply symbolic (founded by Romulus) - EmperorAugustus had his house on the Palatine, located in the immediate vicinity of the “hut of Romulus” - His house was part of a larger residential complex, but was overall more modest than his successors - The temple dedicated toApollo (as a youthful god who punished his enemies) who was the patron god ofAugustus was part of this complex - In the Houses of Livia andAugustus are great examples of rich decoration with mythological wall paintings - This was a common decorative style - Among the decoration is the so-called 2 Pompeian style (“architectural style”) which plays with perception, creating false windows and what not - Also elaborate stucco decoration with floral patterns and masks - And mythological fresco - The imperial places on the Palatine Hill consisted on three elements: - 1) the “Domus Flavia” - The western part of the palace, with official and representative rooms - The “Aula Regia” is the imperial audience chamber - Abanquet hall with flanking fountains - Interesting octagonal fountain in this area - 2) “DomusAugustana” - The imperial living quarters in the souther part - And so-called “Hippodrome” - There is a fountain with pelta-shaped elements (modelled on the shields of the Amazons) - Another fountain decorated with mythological statue groups in the open courtyard - 3) the so-called “Domus Severiana” - Alater addition to the east - Included the baths of the palace - Nero’s “DomusAurea” occupied the Palatine Hill as well as parts of the Esquiline and Caelius Hills - Only a few of the hundreds of living and dining rooms of the palace are preserved - The dining rooms were arranged around a large courtyard and an octagonal court with adjacent dining rooms marks the centre of this wing of the palace - These rooms were all richly painted - The architects of the DomusAurea are said to have been a certain Celer, and a certain st Severus who lived mid-late 1 centAD Housing in Rome The population of Rome in the imperial period was ca.1-1.2million - Ca. 600,000 Roman Citizens (including women and children) - Ca. 100,000 Strangers (“Peregrini”) - Ca. 300,000-500,000 slaves - Nero attempted to regulate the housing situation in Rome with the creation of apartment buildings (insulae) with internal courtyards - Yet still, the city went on to develop in a rather chaotic way - Trajan attempted to regulate with further laws - Excavations have revealed a well-organized residential area in Rome along the Via Lata - Multi-storied buildings with a large porticus facing the street like those we encounter in Rome’s harbor town of Ostia (from the period of the emperor Hadrian in early 2 cent AD) - Other building complexes have been excavated at the foot of the Capitoline - The few remains do not result in a clear picture of the organization of the residential areas in the city of Rome Terms - Domus = private residence, and can also refer to imperial palaces (usually refers to private houses though) - The mansions of the rich (domus) in the Imperial Period were built primarily on the hills and in the “green belt” on the boundaries of the city - Villa = country house or estate (often suburban) - Located outside of the city with some economic basis in agriculture - More of an estate or farmhouse - But still elaborately decorated - Insula = apartment building - Taberna = commercial building (shop) - Cenacula = rented apartments - Could be rented about domus or in the insula - Horti = estate with extensive gardens within the city Aristocratic Housing - We have many examples from Pompeii - The main features of aristocratic housing include: - An atrium and a peristyle court (open court) - As well as the cubicula (bedrooms) - And the triclinia and oecus/-i (dining and living rooms) - Every part of wall, floor and often ceiling was decorated Entertainment in Rome Games - Could take place outside of theAmphitheatre on the Field of Mars, or on the Forum Romanum which had a system of tunnels under it to allow underground access to the forum itself through which stage props or animals could be lifted onto the surface - Ephemeral structures on the Forum from which you would watch games st - The first stone theatre was built byAugustus general in 1 cent BC - But nothing is left of it, being destroyed in the Fire of Nero - It was on the field of mars, outside the Pomerium, but we don’t know its exact location - Gladiatorial games originated as funerary games for aristocratic deaths and it dates back to at least the 6 century BC - On the occasion of burial of prominent members of aristocracy, these funerary games were held - Meant to honor the buried, but it is unclear what the real meaning was.Aform of exorcism, perhaps? - The association with aristocratic funerals persists well into the Imperial period Important Buildings - Theatres - Theatre of Pompey (55 BC) - Theatre of Balbus (12 BC) - Theatre of Marcellus (12 BC) - Circus Maximus - Already in use during the Etruscan rule in Rome - Located in the valley between the Palatine andAventine Hills - Apart from the munera (games) in the amphitheatre, the Circus horse-race was the most popular form of entertainment - The spina was richly decorated with statues - It has been estimated that it could hold up to 30,000 spectators - Stadium of Domitian (Ca. 81-96 BC) - Avariety of mainly cultural events took place here - FlaviumAmphitheatre (“Colosseum”) - Took about 10 years to build and was funded by war booty of Jewish War - Begun by Vespasian, finished and Inaugurated under Titus in 80AD - 80m in length, the lrgest in the world - When you look into it today you see the substructure which would have originally been covered by a wooden floor and sand - It was made in an act of Liberalitas by the emperor to the people of Rome; essenitally he gave the area which Nero had built on back to the people - Celebrates the military success and the triumphs of the emperor, and his love for the people - The first games (the Inaugural games) lasted 100 days! During which 5,000 wild animals were killed and there were lots of gladiatorial fights - Could seat at least 50,000, definitely a much larger amount than other large Roman Theatres could hold - Not the first amphitheatre built in Rome, or anywhere in the Roman Empire, but afterwards it became a model for all otherAmphitheatres - Before it was built there was a provisional theatre made of wood: two theatres framed in opposite directions which could be put together for games - The 3 orders on the facade are Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian. 4 floor edition had square pilasters also in the Corinthian order - Each of these arcades had statues in them, possible of Greek gods and heroes - The fourth order provided support for wooden masts, used to attach awnings (vela) that provided shade for the spectators - Abunch of sailors had been shipped into man these awnings, as they knew how to handle the ropes - Travertine was used for the facade and the structure, but the parts in between the framework of Travertine were built in brick and concrete, which is used more often the higher you get (a common building technique) - The interior could be entered in from all 80 arcades on the ground level - There was a strict order of seating, according to social class, sex and rank - 4 main entrances, located on the principle exits which were ceremonial entrances reserved for privileged groups of society, and the emperor and his entourage - Anumber of the seat corresponded to a number on a token given out by the Emperor in his expression of liberalitas (it was free, but nonetheless there was order/structure) - Must have been a system of distribution of some sorts: the time it would’ve taken to enter and leave was thought out and distributed - Also designed so that the elite did not have to cross paths with slaves - Social ordering was not an aspect of other amphitheatres - Men and women were separated, and seated strictly according to social order, - Members (male) of social orders dressed differently; everyone had to put on the national costume, the toga which could further differentiate social order: - The emperor an the senate were in white togas with red stripes - The Equites with white togas and thin red stripes - Male citizens in simple white togas - And then there were special types of dress for specific priesthoods - The highest members of society would sit closest to the area, where there was the best view - The spectators closest to the arena were protected from the action by a net, equipped with slippery amber so that the animals could not climb out - Marble seats for Roman senators, with names inscribed on them - In the second order there were the equites (high military officers) - The third for free Roman citizens - And the highest order for women, foreigners, poor and slaves - Alarge number of animals (etc.) could be moved simultaneously into the arena, using system of tunnels, ramps and elevators - Written sources suggest that it was initially used for mock naval battles (nuamachia) - Reused a system of channels built by Nero for the lake of his DomusAurea to redirect to the amphitheatre in order to floor the floor for sea battles - The arena had waterproof stucco - But after the elevators, ramps and winches had been installed the arena could no longer be used for naval battles and aquatic displays - Various additions were made throughout the years, due to natural damage by fire and lightning - E.g., 3 centAD struck by lightning and damaged so seriously that it could not be used for a number of years - Or, often it was altered by Emperors for large games, in that they would change the infrastructure to suit their purpose - Had a large amount of people working in unideal conditions - Sometimes animals were just left to rot down below! - Demand for animals was so great that certain species went extinct! - The army would trap these exotic animals inAfrica, and may would have died on their way to Rome - Kept in makeshift zoos in the greenbelt area before they were brought to the arena - Together with the races in the Circus Maximus this one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Rome - Gladiatorial shows were the highlight of the games - The day began with animal hunts - The fighting of animals taking place either in the arena, or
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